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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
U know, since the beginning of my homee theatre endevours, being "film like" was the holy grail of front projection. However, the more I go to movies, the worse it appears to be. First, we have the speckles. Unless you are lucky enough to see a brand new reel of film being projected, your gonna get these. Geez, we complain about pixelization, but this is much worse.

Black Level??!?!? Film doesn't look any better than many digital projectors. When the screen is supposed to be black, I see the screen. Therefore, black level isn't great. And, whil this isn't film specifically, but nothing like getting the red glow from the exit sign or a door left open to wash out an image!

I wish someone would come up with the BLACK HOLE theatre room, where all ambient light is absorbed by the walls, so when things are supposed to be dark, they are BLACK.

Finally, the gitters. Man, you every look at text that is supposed to be in one place when watching film. It jumps all over the place! I unfortunately sat a little to close during Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and man, were those subtitles dancing. I got a headache just trying to read them!

That is my rant about film. If it wasn't for the social aspect of actually leaving my home, I would stay home. Geez, for 12 dollars a movie, and 10 bucks for a drink and popcorn, I could make enough popcorn to feed 20 people, enough beverage for the same, with money left over?


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David Mendicino

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David,


Everyone has a right to his/her opinion. That's what

makes horse races and Internet message boards. If you

prefer video then I respect that and am glad that you

are happy with what you're seeing. But I would like to

respectfully disagree with you.


In my opinion what you are saying (like many others in a

thread earlier this year) is that a copy

of something (anything) is better than the original.

With very few exceptions theatrical movies are still shot

with film cameras. So the movie (film) print is still the "original"

medium. Any transfer to electronic video in my thinking will always

be just a facsimilie of the original.


I have never had the pleasure of seeing a screening room quality

film presentation. But others who have

seen this say it is truly something to behold.

Granted, a video transfer may compare well to a poorly displayed "Cineplex" type exhibition. But that is not the fault of film per se.

Until the day comes when theatrical movies originate with electronic

cameras, I think a fresh undamaged movie print will continue to

be the standard we should compare to. That is certainly what I'm

trying to achieve with my home theater experience. Frankly,

after four years of trying I had never seen anything at home

that approached the quality of a movie image to my eyes. I

was beginning to think that it was not really possible.

But a week ago I did see home theater that came very very close.

Unfortunately, it was not in my home theater, ha ha.


Bob Wood


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~~The Sultan of Cheap~~


[This message has been edited by RobertWood (edited 03-10-2001).]
 

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Robert,


Although I fully agree with your statement that a copy of the original will not be as good as the original this is not really the issue...


I would say the above posts relate far more to the degradation of the film as it is being used and distributed..


I am sure that a first run in a private screening with the right equipment is spectacular, in fact judging by the comments of people that get the chance it is a near religious experience http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif but how many of us get this opportunity ??? To those that do more power to ya... to those that dont, the comparison is not valid...


As film is used it degrades leading to the complaints listed in Davids post also as HT fans and hobbyists we appreciate the differences that minor defects in cinema setup make to the viewing experiences (these are two totally different complaints though)... I would think that it is highly likely that some form of Ultra HD transfer of film to digital is very very likely (bordering on inevitable) and although a Ultra HD transfer (TM http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif )is going to be marginally poorer than the film it will not degrade so that the end user will be getting a better image at the Cineplex...


The obvious advantages of digital reproduction and distribution will also help push this into use...


Yes good film is still the holy grail but good film is not what you are likely to get in the Cineplex...


PP
 

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Plus when you live in an area like I do where all the movie houses are owned by one chain you end up with that quality going down even further cause they have no competition.


I agree that the problem in a moive house is the artifcats in a film print that have been introduced after the movie started playing. Scratches, dust, hairs etc on the print.


I saw the other day where going to the movies in NY is now $10K.


What are these guys thinking?



Chuck
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ChuckTraywick:
I saw the other day where going to the movies in NY is now $10K.
Near me, it's only $10! I never realized it was such a bargain! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Mike

 

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I'm laughing because I started a thread like this a few months back that elicited a lot of discussion. Basically, I agree with David, with the caveat that this does not apply to film under optimal, controlled conditions like a screening room. But it seems by the time it makes it to the local theater, the prints are somewhat rough.


I still like going to the movies! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Dan
 

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I stongly agree with David's point. I am sure that a perfect screening would be an experience but I am sure that I will attend very few of these in my lifetime. With respect to Bob Wood, who is both knowlegable and a real gentleman, I think it is a mistake to use film and theaters as the yardstick in HT. I want to see a day when material for home theaters is freed from the notion that it's intent is to duplicate a movie house. I think that there are things possible with HT sound and very soon with video projection that will leave the local theater in the dust. Granted I still like the experience of going out and being a customer in a fancy multiplex. I don't go there for better sound, however. The sound at home is better. Soon, with higher resolution projectors and better video processing I think the picture will also be better at home. All this at an outrageous cost, of course. Art
 

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If I'm in a minority of one on this then I must be doing something terribly wrong. With my home theater setup I cannot get a picture that is equal to what I see in the average movie theater, much less a screening room. May I ask which projection equipment is giving you this kind of performance?


Bob


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Bob, try this one. I have heard lots about it and it just might resolve this "problem".



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The button is labeled "Play", not "Pay". STOP the MPAA!

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If you’ve ever had the chance to see 35mm done right it really is stunning.


The problem with DVD and even some HDTV material is edge enhancement and compression artifacts. You just don’t notice this on our small screens.


Even if we had a projector with enough light output to light up a 15 foot wide screen at that size dvd looks terrible because of compression artifacts.

Electronic video will never match the color resolution and the contrast of film in my opinion.


It’s a different media and will always look electronic. Some view this as being superior to film, I do not. I want it to look just like film!!!


I’m still happy with DVD, as it’s the best media we’ve had to date . It still has a lot of potential. I just wish they would use less compression.



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Thanks Very Much!


Alan Gouger

AV Science
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I personally don't care if I go to a movie theater. I'd just as soon that the movie be able for pay-for-view as soon as it opens in the movie houses.


Unfortunately, that will require Orwellian copy protection which I'm not ready for.


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Ken Elliott
 

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I like the look of film. I adore it and worship it. I see a colossal difference between the look of projected film and projected video. For one thing, film is totally uncompressed. DVD is heavily compressed. DVD video does not have the color subtlety that film has. It just doesn't. Of course, DVD doesn't have the resolution of film, either. Film has superior color saturation as well. You might think that that can be cured by just turning up the saturation on your display. Well, it's not going to be as saturated as film. Or rather I should say, it would not look as saturated as film does without appearing cartoonish. Remember what you're working with. DVD does not have the oomph of film. Some transfers are just plain awesome, but if you were able to directly compare them to a 35mm print, you would see that in reality, film blows away DVD. Notice I'm comparing film to DVD and not film to DLP or LCD, D-ILA, CRT or whatever.


Apparently, some of you are located in communities that have extremely poor theaters. When I say "poor", I mean in terms of presentation. It sounds like very poorly trained teenagers are running the booths at some of these theaters. That would explain the bad quality of their presentation. I don't believe digital cinema is going to look better. It will have edge enhancement, compression artifacts and the projector's lens will still need to be focused. Sam Kinison once told starving people to "move to where the food is". I can't tell you to move to where the great cinemas are, but a theater that doesn't care about the quality of it's presentation, is likely to never care about it.


I still think DVD's and front projectors have a long way to go before they look as good as film, let alone better. All in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
In response to Rob Wood's post;

One of the first things I said was that

"Unless you are lucky enough to see a brand new reel of film being projected..."

I do agree, Robert, that in optimal viewing, film is the benchmark. However, what I was REALLY expressing was that most of us say "film-like" based on our experiences at the cinema, not in a studio production house. Therefore, I expressed my opinion in that regard. However, I do believe my issue about black level and unstable image(ie. text moves around) is the same no matter what the quality of the film is like.

The black level problem is inherent in the fact that if you can see the screen, you can't see black. Black is looking next to the screen, on the drapes, where you can't see anything. This is problematic, im' sure, even with CRT, because light reflected off the screen will hit it unless, as I said, you have the fortune of the black hole HT room.

The jumpiness is inherent in the mechanism of film. It is impossible to have an image over lap exactly when it is moving so quickly and each frame will have minor movements in it.

Thanks for the all the responses, nevertheless.


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David Mendicino

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David,

Let me assure you it is quite possible to have run a print dozens of times without developing visible wear. Some people really do care about how film is presented and they take very good care of their prints. Some people either haven't been trained right or just don't care and as a result, the print will quickly acquire visible signs of wear. Some people know how to run film without putting green scratches, nicks and dirt marks on the film. That's just the beginning of a great presentation, but believe me, it can be done. The thing I dislike most about the theater are rude, noisy customers. I've had enough of them. I've also noticed poor focus and cropping of 2.35:1 films down to 1.85:1 (uggh) but the look of film is still tops in my book.


By the way, I have a region 3 copy of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The film print I saw in NYC looked much, much better than this DVD. For what it's worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Larry,

What about the problem of the "jitters"? My opening statement in this thread was that while trying to read the subtitles in a movie, they moved around SO much.

I will be honest with all of you. The entire reason I became enchanted with HT was because of a revelation I had at a theater.

In Toronto, a few years back, when they started opening the megaplexes with huge screens. I got to see what must have been a first run of The Fifth Element on their biggest screen. I was so amazed that I harrassed my parents for 3 years to get a projector. I had to have something of this size in my own home. I will admit that film done right is unequal. That is it. I wonder if this will go on for years, like the Record vs. CD debate, after film is over, and I have no doubt that it will die out. With the onset of new digital projection systems,I can only assume it will be much cheaper than dealing with film prints and projectors. However, many of us will always advocate the old stuff. I hope digital projection advances to a quality level greater than film. Then, we would all be happy, cuz we could all eventually have it in our homes.

Don't you guys and girls ever watch a movie on your big screen at home, and there is that moment when you are just amazed, as if it was the first time watching it? Forgetting about the faults, if black level is too high, if colour is right, "is that pixelization I see", and just enjoying the monstrous and engulfing image in front of you? Hope so, I get that once in a while and it kills all my need to have to get a new projector. That is, until I find the faults again.




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David Mendicino

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David,

I know what you mean about being awed by the picture on your projector. I am experiencing this myself with my 3 chip DLP (my review will be posted Wednesday or Thursday). As for the jittering subtitles, it's possible that when the projector was threaded, the person handling the film didn't close the film gate. That would cause the film to flop around in frame. Maybe Frank Manrique could answer this. He knows much more than me. Some projectors don't have a rock steady picture. But what you are describing sounds very extreme. To think that you had to sit through a whole movie with this problem is terrible. I have gotten out of my seat to complain. If you think there really is a problem, it's perfectly acceptable for you to ask to see the manager. You might even get a free ticket!


[This message has been edited by Larry Davis (edited 03-10-2001).]
 

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Another possible cause of jitteriness in the subtitles would be if the film was wobbling while the subtitles were applied. From what I understand, this is done with lasers. If each frame wasn't in the exact same place (in the x,y and z planes) when the subtitles were burned into the print, that could create a "jittery" look or an out of focus look. I know next to nothing about how this is done, so this is pure specualtion on my part.
 

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While I enjoy going to a high quality theater to see a movie, the best images I have seen lately have been at my house. I watched 'Silverado' last night and the image was amazing, even at 14 feet across with me sitting only 15 feet away. The thing that really makes it look fantastic is how bright and colorful it is. I never see this at the cinema. I watched 'Braveheart' the other night in HDTV and the image was better then anything I have seen in the cinema in recent memory. I love my new G20 D-ILA. The brightness and color surpasses anything I see at the cinema.

I watched a replay of 'Drop Zone' recently with sunglasses on with the left lens removed and the 3D effect was unbelievable, especially the sky diving sequences. The only thing I have seen that looks better is IMAX in 3D.





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Frank...

Turn off the TV and read these books those in power DON'T want you to read...
 

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I remember participating in the earlier thread, and I think the argument is largely over semantics. The problem is we want to use few words when describing our standards. If we expanded the name of our reference to "ultimate film-like" or "first run film-like" instead of merely "film-like" I think most people would buy in. The very best film I have seen has been the best visual experience I've had, period. The average film I have seen is consistently surpassed by a number of video set ups I've spent time with.


Even the very best film that I've seen lags somewhat behind current video based technologies in the reproduction of blacks, brightness, and sound. However, the handling of color is so much better with an ultimate film source that the relative small advantages of current video technologies in those areas are easily overcome.


I am also hesitant to disagree with Alan, but I will be very surprised if 20 years from now digital visual technology has not surpassed film. I don't know how much better compression algorithms will get, but I'm sure that the density of data storage and the bandwidth available to transmit it will eventually put digital video on the same playing field as film in terms of raw resolution horsepower. At that point, I think things will begin to get interesting.
 
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